Crenova XPE680 720p LED Projector Review

Crenova XPE680 720p LED Projector Review

Buy it at Amazon: Crenova XPE680 720p LED Projector [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Great video quality, bright, nice saturation, loud fan but decent audio w/hookup for sound system.

The projector comes with a remote control, 6 ft power cable, 40" RCA input cable, 5 ft gold-plated flat HDMI cable, two spare fuses, 4 mounting screws, an instruction manual, 1" tilt foot, and microfiber cleaning cloth. The projector is mid-size weighing 5.5 lbs and measures 13"W x 9.5"L x 4.5"H. On the front of the projector is the 2.75" lens which has a silicone rubber lens protector. To its right is an IR receiver for the remote control. there's another IR receiver on top along with the power button, navigation keys and OK button, menu key, and source selector, additional functions are on the remote only. The remote requires 2 AAA batteries which are not included. There are a variety of inputs: two USB ports (also can be used for power), RCA audio out ports, RCA/component input ports, TV coaxial, VGA, and two HDMI inputs. There's no headphone jack and the unit does not support Bluetooth, so if you need to hookup an external speaker, it must be able to accept RCA audio input or you can use a converter.

On the bottom are four rubber feet and a small threaded hole for the tilt foot; the tilt foot cannot sit flush with the feet on the unit even when fully screwed in. If you want to ceiling mount the unit, you'll have to remove the four rubber feet to reveal threaded holes underneath for use with a universal bracket. Note however, that there is no 1/4" or 3/8" mounting hole for tripod mounting, and you'll need an additional platform adapter for use with a tripod.

If you have a bookshelf at a suitable height and distance from a flat wall that's also close to an outlet, you won't need an extension cord. Otherwise, it can be tricky to get the placement of the projector in your specific room just right. I prefer to use a tripod whenever possible, so I plan on getting a laptop platform that will fit the projector on top. When set about 11' from the wall, the projected image has about a 9' diagonal. The 2800 lumen brightness doesn't show up that well in a brightly lit room, so this won't end up being your everyday TV projector. When I dim the lights it's a bit better, but the projector is best viewed in pitch dark conditions (no windows or ambient light). The image is somewhat brighter when the projector is closer to the screen, but the image will be smaller, of course. When used with a Chromecast hooked up to the HDMI port, I was able to power the device using one of the USB ports to stream internet video. While the projector doesn't have WiFi capability, the HDMI and other input methods worked fine. Note that while it accepts input resolutions up to 1080p HD, the native output resolution is 1280 x 720p so it's still HD but higher quality video will be downscaled. The screen can be set to 16:9 ratio for widescreen movies and switch to 4:3 ratio for TV broadcasts. The color saturation and contrast is pretty good but the larger the projection, the more visible pixels are and the fainter the colors and brightness look.

The fan is quite loud on this unit, but I was actually impressed with the built-in stereo speakers because it was pretty loud as well. However, in order to drown out the fan noise, you have to turn the volume way up and the sound started to distort around the mid 50s (of 100 levels). For this reason I recommend using the RCA audio out with an external speaker like a soundbar or surround sound system. Unfortunately, without a headphone port nor Bluetooth capability, it's not directly compatible with most Bluetooth speakers.

Overall, this projector does a much better job at projecting photos and video than smaller mini LED projectors (1500-2000 lumens). It has pretty decent color, brightness, sound, and saturation, although you'll still need pretty dark conditions when using it. I highly recommend using an external speaker to drown out its loud fan. But it's definitely more than suitable for movie night or gaming. In a pinch you can show work presentations as text is fairly easy to read when the projection has an 80" or less diagonal (depends on text size and font type).

Buy it at Amazon: Crenova XPE680 720p LED Projector [Affiliate Link]

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